AGA Washington Insider

A policy blog for GIs

Shutdown Implications

Capitof bldg from backLast night, the U.S. House and Senate failed to reach an agreement on funding, sending the U.S. government into a partial shutdown. Here’s a summary of practical implications for the GI community.


  • In the short term, the Medicare program will continue largely without disruption.
  • Medicare claims from physicians will likely be processed and paid, based on reassurances given to organized medicine and precedents set during the 1996 government shutdown:

In 1996, Medicare continued to pay physicians and hospitals, despite the fact that Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) receive discretionary funding to process claims. MACs processed and paid claims on a credit basis for CMS, with the expectation of catching up later. However, it is unclear how long MACs would extend credit to the federal government.


  • Existing grants: If you have an existing NIH grant, you can continue spending from it—as long as you don’t encounter any problems. NIH’s payment management system will remain in service, but if a problem arises, no staff will be available to assist. If your grant is restricted, no staff will be available to remove that restriction. Program officers will not be available. More information from NIH.
  • Future grants: The NIH will not make any extramural research grants or contracts. If you have been planning to submit a proposal to NIH to meet one of the October deadlines, will be open, but NIH eRA Commons will be closed. Proposals uploaded to will be stored there, and will not be processed and validated until the shutdown ends.

Read the AGA Washington Insider, a policy blog for GIs, for ongoing information about the shutdown. We will also provide information via social media: and

Content sources: Hart Health Strategies, Science Careers and Blog.


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